Israeli startup Pebbles Interface, which developed a technology that lets people use hand gestures as an interface with their computers, has been acquired by Facebook. While the two companies have not confirmed a sale price, reports put it at $60 million.
The acquisition of Pebbles was made through Facebook’s subsidiary Oculus VR.
Pebbles Interfaces has spent the past five years developing technology that uses custom optics, sensor systems and algorithms to detect and track hand movement. Over time, technology breakthroughs in sensors will unlock new human interaction methods in VR and revolutionize the way people communicate in virtual worlds.
The Pebbles website is now just a statement about merging with Oculus and a thank you to the company’s partners, employees and investors. The statement also says, “For the last 5 years, we’ve been focused on building a technology that extends human behavior, enabling simple and intuitive interaction with any consumer electronic device.”
Oculus declared in a blogpost, “We’re excited to announce that we’ve entered into an agreement to acquire Pebbles Interfaces — one of the leading teams in depth sensing technology and computer vision.”
It said that Pebbles Interfaces will be joining the hardware engineering and computer vision teams at Oculus to help advance virtual reality, tracking, and human-computer interactions.
Nadav Grossinger, CTO of Pebbles Interfaces, said, “At Pebbles Interfaces, we’ve been focused on pushing the limits of digital sensing technology to accelerate the future of human-computer interaction. Through micro-optics and computer vision, we hope to improve the information that can be extracted from optical sensors, which will help take virtual reality to the next level. We’ve always believed visual computing will be the next major platform in our lifetime, and we’re excited to join the Oculus team to achieve that vision for the future.”